The newspaper also reported that higher-end versions of GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado trucks could feature carbon-fiber. The article describes carbon-fiber beds in its opening paragraph but then references a “carbon-fiber box.”
According to the WSJ, GM will reveal the next-generation 2019 Silverado and GMC Sierra soon. In 2019, they’ll begin selling higher-end versions with the carbon-fiber available, the newspaper reported.
Body shops should be somewhat prepared for the idea of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic truck beds with last year’s launch of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline’s composite structure.
In Honda’s case, the Ridgeline bed’s resin is reinforced with fiberglass rather than the more expensive carbon fiber Chevrolet and GMC will reportedly use. However, the Ridgeline’s bed still ended up being pretty strong; the OEM in 2016 memorably mocked both Ford and Chevrolet in 2016 by showing off the composite bed’s durability compared to the aluminum F-150 and steel Silverado beds.
Repairers fix the Ridgeline’s two-piece bed floor and composite side vertical panels by replacing any damaged parts. That would seem to be a logical way to handle a carbon-fiber Silverado bed.
“Elements such as high-strength steel in the frame and body structure are found on all production models, while some also feature aluminum suspension components, contributing to the Silverado’s everyday performance,” Chevrolet marketing Vice President Chris Perry said in a 2013 statement. “With the Cheyenne concept, we’ve taken the low-mass concept to a new level – with exciting results.
“It is only a concept right now, but we are continually exploring new ways to give Silverado customers more.”
As far as the other lightweighting referenced in the WSJ report goes, a couple of things come to mind: